Local Heroes: Opening Doors Through Education

A boy was so interested in education that he asked to switch from his Chinese-language school to an English-language school. His principal at the time said that he had to rank at the top of his class to be able to switch schools. That person worked hard. The next year, he was able to make the switch.

That person is my father, Mark F. Lau. He is an accountant and is forty-eight years old.  Mark is humble – he doesn’t brag – and is a great dad. He is my hero because he lets my brother and I attend a private and independent school. My brother and I are fortunate to have a father so enthusiastic about education.

When my father came to the United States from Hong Kong, it was not easy for him.  He didn’t speak English, he didn’t have money and he didn’t have friends or relatives in the United States.  Now, he works hard on his job. He does this because he is my family’s main supporter. He pays the bills, the mortgage and school fees. Mark also does this because he wants my brother and me to get a good education. He wants my brother and me to be able to do the things we want to do. In order to do this, Mark endures eyesight problems and carpal tunnel syndrome. He also has trouble sleeping for fear he will lose his job.

Mark doesn’t think of himself as a hero. He thinks of himself as an ordinary man. Now, he is more cautious about his family’s health and his health. My father thinks he is halfway done because one of his sons is in high school and the other is in middle school.  He will consider his mission complete when both of his sons graduate from college.

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